Bollywood Veteran and Indian actor Saeed Jaffery dead at 86

Bollywood lost another gem as veteran actor Saeed Jaffery passed away on Sunday,Nov 15th.

The 86-year-old actor had appeared in many British and Indian films and was reportedly the first Indian actor to tour Shakespeare across the United States and to star in a major Broadway role, according to Jaffrey Associates.

He became a household name in the UK after appearing in numerous TV dramas including Tandoori Nights, The Far Pavilions and Gangsters.

His best-known roles included the Nawab of Mirat in the landmark 1980s series The Jewel In The Crown and Ravi Desai in the soap opera Coronation Street.

On the big screen, he starred opposite Michael Caine and Sean Connery in 1975’s The Man Who Would Be King and played Patel in Sir Richard Attenborough’s Oscar-winning Gandhi in 1982.

Sir David Lean cast him as Hamidullah in 1984 epic A Passage to India, and Jaffrey was nominated for the best supporting actor Bafta for playing the laundrette-owning Nasser in My Beautiful Laundrette, which starred Daniel Day-Lewis.

Jaffrey also wrote and starred in dozens of radio plays, winning the Prix Italia for his appearance alongside Sir Michael Redgrave in BBC Radio Four’s The Pump.

He was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1995 for his contributions to drama.

The actor was married to actress-author Madhur Jaffrey with whom he had three children. They divorced in 1966.

Director and writer Mahesh Bhat was among those paying tribute, saying: “He was unique because he had a very good understanding of foreign cultures, which he mixed with his Indian ethos and that showed in his performances.

“I will never forget him for his outstanding performance in Ram Teri Ganga Maili. He was a fascinating man with a large body of work.”

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